For those of you off on your travels with little ones this summer we thought you might need some advice on getting hold of passports for babies and children – happy holidays!
If you are travelling abroad then youâ€™ll all need a passport, including your baby. Itâ€™s estimated that the turnaround time is approx. 3 weeks but you canâ€™t have missed the recent reports about major delays. Perhaps itâ€™s a good idea if you check lead times with the Passport Office prior to booking a trip.
A little tip: if you use the Post Officeâ€™s â€˜Check and Send Serviceâ€™, youâ€™ll not only ensure your application and supporting documents are spick and span, but your application will be delivered to the Passport Office by Special Delivery.
The cost of a childâ€™s passport is Â£46 (Â£54.75 if you decide to use their Check and Send Service). If youâ€™re in a real hurry, there is a Fast Track service that costs Â£87 and has a turnaround of about a week. Bear in mind that youâ€™ll have to attend an appointment at the Passport Office to show some documentation (usually at least a birth certificate).
Applications for childrenâ€™s passports can be made by post or online via the GOV.UK website. You can apply for a British passport as long as the child is eligible, under 16 and you have parental responsibility for them. There is a wealth of information online at the gov.uk website, or you can call if youâ€™ve got questions about your application (although there is usually quite a decent amount of hold time â€“ hope you enjoy Vivaldi!)
Birth certificates and supporting documents are normally returned to you by second class post but you can have them returned via special delivery for a fee of Â£3. Not a bad shout for some peace of mind.
If youâ€™ve been worried about just how you are supposed to get a photo of your baby that meets the guidelines of the Passport Office, then hereâ€™s the low down:
- All passport photos need to be in colour, measure 45mm x 35mm each and must be identical. Photos must be taken within a month of the application being completed, and shot against a light grey or cream background.
- Photos of babies used for passport applications must not include dummies or toys, and no-one else can appear in the photo with the baby. If the baby is being supported, the hand must not be visible in the photograph. The good news is that if your little one is under the age of 1 they donâ€™t have to have their eyes open, so if you time it right after a feed they can sleep through the whole process.
- Under 6â€™s do not have to have the neutral expression that adults need and they also donâ€™t need to be looking directly into the camera, so thatâ€™s a relief!
Thank goodness for digital photography and, with many high street photography shops and pharmacies offering passport photo services, life is much easier.
Wherever youâ€™re off to on your hols â€“ all the girls at Amoralia hope you and your children have a wonderful time!